Plough the field you’re given

A small garden. A small vase. A few minutes with the scissors. It’s amazing what can pass for bounty when you set your mind to it. Although I whine a lot about the Microgarden, it can often be counted on to produce a pretty nice bouquet, even in different seasons. This one, I gave to my […]

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It’s a rainy spring day, and I’m expecting

Today’s rain has been pretty relentless. But, no matter how it buckets down, I just can’t stop myself from going out, staring at the garden… and expecting things. Expecting the reappearance of a plant planted last fall. Is that it? That? No, just another Norway maple seedling. Drat. Expecting those colour-coordinated tulips I added in 2016 […]

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Coping with Spring Envy

On the weekend, I FaceTimed with our youngest daughter, who currently lives in the UK. She was telling me about her life there. You know. Hopes, dreams, fears. But I was eager to get on to the important stuff. “I’ll bet you have daffodils.” “What?” She sounded confused by my non-sequitur. “Daffodils. I’ll bet they’re blooming now. Or […]

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Paving the way: One pebble at a time

In the Italianate terrace at Powerscourt Estate in Ireland’s County Wicklow, a journey of 1,000 pebbles (many times over) began in 1843 with the very first stone, placed by a kid aged seven. Look at the finish date above – more than three decades later. And it all happened one pebble at a time. It makes me think of […]

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A flashback to Jane Austen’s garden

A regular reader of this blog might know our affection for Jane Austen. We began our very first post, more than 10 years ago, with one of her quotes. And she does pop up here from time to time. With the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death (aged just 41) coming on July 18th, 2017’s arrival flooded my social media […]

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12 things to like about 2016

By many measures, 2016 was one of the most deplorable of annus horribilis-es. The Grim Reaper was unusually busy, and some things did not turn out as hoped. But let’s try to bright-side it. A look back: January One thing to like, every year, is Toronto’s skirt hem along the great freshwater sea that is Lake Ontario. A […]

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Fall in love with imperfection

If you’re a creative person (as gardeners often are) it’s easy to get hung up on perfection. Rather than appreciating the garden that is, you compare it with the garden that exists only in your mind – your dreams. And you grumble. I love your garden, people might tell you. While, grumbler that you are, you give them […]

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Gardening is a conversation

Gardening is a conversation. That’s what I’ve been ruminating on since spending an enjoyable hour last month talking to the Oshawa Garden Club about Gardening in Shade. What do I mean? Well, of course, a conversation is a sharing of thoughts, ideas and opinions with other people. After I spoke to the lovely folks in Oshawa about shade gardening, […]

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Glads and graphology

Yes, they can look stiff and formal. But I like glads because they remind me of our mother. Not only because Gladiolus is August’s birthday flower, and August 31st – today – was her birthday. It’s because of a piece of art she made, a print of some coral-coloured gladioli. Both our parents were gifted artists. Both were art-school […]

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Spring 2016 is (finally) in the air

No. Unfortunately not a picture of a Toronto garden. Not yet. Nearly a year ago, I photographed this in the display garden of Sunset Publishing in California, sighing that it would perk me up before my return to the brownery back home. Well, Facebook just reminded me of it, so I thought I’d share it […]

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Remembering our roots

Our dad’s parents in the garden, captioned in our father’s lovely handwriting. Why do you garden? In our family, it’s something you just do – eventually, you become a gardener. For my sister Sarah and I, it’s now as ingrained as family jokes, traditions or recipes. We grew up with parents and grandparents who had […]

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A bouquet for my garden

Thank you, garden, for not being perfect. Thank you for putting up with my sloth. Thanks …for managing to survive, despite my sloth. For reminding me to overcome it. Thank you for offering up continual surprises. Like roses in November. For those sweet doses of happiness, from spring to spring. For showing me what doesn’t […]

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